On Friday Kaiser Kuo was on top of the news that Tudou shut down for 24 hours to "move servers." They're now back up again. All this amidst mysterious reports that Tudou had been ordered to shut down by SARFT, which Tudou public relations people had denied knowledge of.
Kaiser points to a Sohu story about the brief shutdown which references the SARFT shutdown order and quotes a "responsible person" at Tudou saying that it really was a server move with no relation to the reported shutdown order. Kaiser's analysis:
If this really was punishment originating with SARFT, then it was mighty light — really, just a wrist-slap. If it was what the Tudou party line says — ho hum, we’re just moving servers — then it’s strange that users, let alone advertisers, weren’t notified. Not to mention of course the fact that the timing was bound to get people speculating.
Jeremy Goldkorn at Danwei.org observes:
Nobody in the industry believes the explanation of the server move: see for example this article on Enorth.com.cn which says that the server moving explanation is "suspicious" and also says that this may be the "most serious case" of a website shutting down in the history of the Chinese Internet.
Jeremy also reminds us of a Marbridge Consulting report on Tuesday about how 42 online video websites had signed a "self-discipline" agreement, but Tudou was not among those listed. (See the SARFT text of the pledge here and a Xinhua report about the original eight signatories in Chinese here.)
Speaking of timing, over the past couple days YouTubers have been busy uploading video (mainly taken from various TV news reports) about protests in Tibet... making this an excellent time for a company trying to stay out of trouble to schedule a server move - and beef up content filtering and monitoring systems while they're at it.